Gent, a sportsman who played football for the Dallas Cowboys in the late 1960s, died on Friday (30Sep11) at his home in Bangor, Michigan. He was 69.
He was drafted by basketball team the Baltimore Bullets after college, but instead chose to follow a short-lived football career with the Cowboys.
His experiences inspired his gritty, breakout 1973 novel North Dallas Forty, which drew praise for exposing the locker room world of the sport.
Gent co-wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation, which starred Nick Nolte, Mac Davis and G.D. Spradlin.
It wasn't his only literary success - Gent also wrote the novels Texas Celebrity Turkey Trot, The Franchise and The Last Magic Summer. He also penned a sequel to his literary debut, North Dallas After Forty.